The media and the coming war

Discussion in 'Politics' started by hapaboy, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. Excellent article by Victor Hanson on how the media rails the US, no matter what the result:

    Postmodern War
    U.S. Central Command, Baghdad, April 15, 2003

    Secretary Rumsfeld: I will take your questions now.

    CBS: Mr. Secretary! Mr. Secretary! Aren't you worried about reports that Apache helicopters unnecessarily strafed hundreds of retreating Republican Guard battalions that were in essence trying to surrender?

    And the follow up, sir: Isn't it true that literally thousands of Republican Guard regiments were allowed to flee unmolested into Syria — and now amount to a potentially dangerous counterrevolutionary force right on the border of a liberated Iraq?

    NBC: Secretary Rumsfeld. In retrospect, was playing hardball with the Turks and not paying the billions a mistake — one that cost us unneeded casualties by fighting a one-front war and allowing them an open hand in Kurdistan?

    And a point of clarification too: While it looks like a "win" here in Iraq, aren't you worried that the United States has simply paid too much money in debt relief to countries in the region — specifically Turkey — to buy their allegiance without monitoring them as they unilaterally go into Iraq?

    BBC: Point of clarification, please, Mr. Secretary: Had the F-17s only hit the electrical grid on the first night of bombing, Saddam's final orders would not have been carried out and dozens of Allied soldiers would have been saved. True?

    And, please, one follow-up question: Given that we were trying to liberate, not conquer, Iraq, don't you think that the bombing of infrastructure unnecessarily caused pain and suffering for what is really an innocent Iraqi citizenry? Weren't they victimized twice?

    Le Monde: Minister Rumsfeld, sir: Are Americans aware that the use of indigenous Iraqi dissidents and guerrillas explains the extraordinarily light casualties of your armed forces?

    And if I may add: Isn't this Afghanistan all over again? Only your fear of body bags explains the flight of so many of Saddam's men into Syria — too few Yankee boots on the ground, yes, Mr. Rumsfeld?

    The Manchester Guardian: I would like you — right now, Secretary Rumsfeld — to comment on reports that American troops are poised to go into Iran or Syria. Wasn't this invasion really a preplanned stepping-stone for a radical American realignment of the Middle East?

    Would you allow me a follow-up as well? Is the United States prepared to sit idly by while patriotic Iranians are being slaughtered in the streets of Tehran by a dictatorial government with close ties to international terrorism?

    CNN: Secretary Rumsfeld, sir: Do you think the failure to retaliate for the sarin-laden Scud that landed in Kuwait will constitute a dangerous precedent — an American willingness, if you will, to suffer the use of WMDs without retaliation?

    Please, a follow-up as well: Do you consider the blockbuster bombing of the Tikrit barracks an unnecessarily brutal response to a relatively minor chemical attack?

    The New York Times: Surely you are aware, Mr. Rumsfeld, of reports that members of the Baathist party — some with clear responsibility for mass murders — are right now still living in impunity in Baghdad?

    And a follow-up as well: Are you worried of reports of horrific reprisals, in which American troops have stood by while members of the Baathist party were publicly lynched?

    ABC: Mr. Rumsfeld! Mr. Rumsfeld! After all the prewar American inspection pressure on Iraq, were you surprised to find so far only 2 chemical weapons depots near Basra?

    And, if I may pose the follow-up, please: Don't you think the presence of 3 tons of chemical weapons there caught the 101st off guard?

    AP: Mr. Secretary: Were you surprised by the mass Iraqi defections in support of American troops in the outlying cities?

    A follow-up, please: Do the pockets of resistance in Baghdad suggest that Saddam had more popular support than we had anticipated? Have we then toppled a popular leader?

    Reuters: Secretary Rumsfeld: Don't you think that the Iraqi blowing up of a Euphrates dam will tend to validate your earlier American warnings that Saddam felt no compunction in killing his own people?

    And may I have a follow up as well? Do you feel the U.S. should be considered culpable for triggering mass flooding that would have not occurred had we not invaded Iraq?

    Al-Jazeera: Mr. Secretary: Can we expect Americans to follow up on their promises to the Iraqi people to stay and to guarantee a democratic society?

    And you owe me a follow-up, please: How long will Americans interfere in Arab politics and insist on foreign solutions to domestic problems?

    Al-Hayat: Secretary Rumsfeld, sir: Doesn't the fact that oil prices have nose-dived in the months after the invasion prove that the United States sought to undermine OPEC and use the invasion to obtain cheap oil?

    I wish to follow-up as well: With 100 burning oil fields, isn't it true the United States bears some responsibility for the uncertainty about future petroleum prices?

    Why will we soon hear such irrational, contradictory questioning — a sort of fantasy circus where Will Kane takes passive-aggressive inquiries from Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer?
  2. Press corps doyenne gets no notice

    A long-running Washington tradition apparently ended last night when, for the first time in memory, the doyenne of the White House press corps was not called on in a presidential press conference.
    Syndicated columnist Helen Thomas, who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, was relegated to the third row in last night's East Room event and — if the memory of press corps veterans is accurate — received her first presidential snub.
    One reporter who has covered the past six presidents said: "I don't remember a press conference in which [Mrs. Thomas] didn't get a question."
    For many years, it was a tradition for Mrs. Thomas to ask the first question at White House news conferences and end them by saying, on behalf of the press corps, "Thank you, Mr. President." However, in recent years, her influence has waned — although she was still afforded one of the first questions and continues to enjoy a front-row seat at regular White House briefings.
    For four decades the White House correspondent for United Press International, Mrs. Thomas, 82, has in recent months harangued Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer, asking how President Bush can slaughter innocent Iraqis in a quest for oil.
    Now syndicated by Hearst Newspapers, Mrs. Thomas has also denounced Mr. Bush outside the confines of the White House briefing room. "This is the worst president ever," Mrs. Thomas told the Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif., in January. "He is the worst president in all of American history."
    Also snubbed by Mr. Bush at last night's news conference was Mike Allen of The Washington Post, the second consecutive time that the president has skipped over The Post's correspondent, who was seated last night in the front row.
    — Joseph Curl